The Mediterranean and Beyond: Improving diversity in the Greek and Latin curriculum

The team

Caterina Pellò (staff, lead) Annemarie Schunke (PhD student), Mridula Gullapalli (UG student)


Greek and Latin

What happened?

We organised a speaker-series where students and staff gave mini lectures to improve the diversity and inclusivity of the current Greek and Latin courses. Ancient Studies cover a wide geographical territory, which is culturally and politically diverse. As such, this subject provides an opportunity to explore a broad range of human experiences. The aim of this lecture series was twofold: first, we invited speakers to give talks on unresearched topics so as to create new teaching resources that would improve diversity in the Greek and Latin curriculum. Talks focused on neglected ancient figures and topics, such as gender, race, age, disability, class, religion, and sexual orientation. Second, we created a platform where staff and students could reflect on the limits, approaches, methodological issues, and new challenges of decolonising the field, as well as create teaching resources to improve existing modules. Finally, this was also meant as an opportunity for students to gain teaching, writing, and speaking experiences, and to receive constructive feedback on their work from their colleagues and peers.

What advice or encouragement would you give to someone thinking of doing a ChangeMakers project?
1. We organised the series online due to the pandemic. However, I believe this series would benefit from in-person meetings and informal discussions over lunch, or tea and coffee.
2. One thing I would consider is whether to use part of the Changemakers funding to pay the student speakers. Preparing these talks is hard work for them and their commitment should be rewarded.
3. One could also organise a longer speaker series, with more than 3 sessions, depending on how many students sign up to contribute.
4. Organisers could also develop more systematic guidelines for students to prepare their talks and for staff mentors to give feedback to their mentees. In this way, the teaching resources and materials collected would be more homogeneous and easily reusable by lecturers.